Published December 15th 2020

Epilepsy New Zealand’s new e-Referral solution will make GPs and practice nurses’ lives a whole lot easier, says its chief executive Ross Smith.

E-Referrals can now be made to Epilepsy NZ using CareSelect.

“Prior to the new e-Referral solution, GPs had to go to our website, download a referral form, fill it out, scan it and then send it, which was very time consuming,” Ross says.

“The new e-Referral solution is quick and easy to use, so it will make life a lot easier for everyone involved.”

He says it is exciting to move from the old, clunky, time-consuming referral system to the new, fast electronic one.

“In this day and age, you have to have the ability to electronically make referrals and share health information. It just makes perfect sense.”

Epilepsy NZ is a nationwide charitable organisation that’s been supporting people with epilepsy since 1956.

Ross says a person can be diagnosed with epilepsy at any stage in their life.

“It’s life-changing. In many cases, you can no longer drive, and it can also affect your employment and other activities you would normally do.


Trained educators provide support

Epilepsy NZ employs a team of trained educators who provide free information, advocacy, education and support to people with epilepsy around New Zealand.

“Once a person has been diagnosed by their neurologist or GP, we continue the education and support. We’re part of the wider healthcare team and we get alongside the person and walk the journey with them.”

Epilepsy affects about 1% of the population and an estimated 48,000–50,000 people have epilepsy in New Zealand, Ross says.

“We would love to have more funding to do research on prevalence in New Zealand and the social impact it has, especially on children. There’s a lot of stigma and discrimination out there about epilepsy.”

Epilepsy New Zealand’s Purple Day is held on 26 March each year to raise awareness about epilepsy.

“Workplaces, community groups and schools can organise a local awareness day by holding a morning tea, mufti day or other event to help raise awareness,” Ross says.


How to refer to Epilepsy New Zealand:

  • Open the patient record
  • Select the HealthLink icon
  • Use the CareSelect search bar, type “Epilepsy New Zealand”
  • Click “Compose Referral”.